Whenever I see any figurines of plaster of Paris, my mind transports me back some fifty plus years to the time when my older brother had braces.
We lived at that time in Macomb, Illinois, where my father taught chemistry at Western Illinois University. And every2-3 weeks (and later, less frequently) my brother was driven by my mom all the way to St. Louis, to have work done on his braces. Occasionally I went along for the ride, and I remember two things vividly: the mighty Mississippi river (and the long bridge spanning it), and the closet chock-full of plaster of Paris figurines at the orthodontist’s office. He used them as prizes. These little white statuettes were fascinating to me. I would have loved to have a collection of them of my own.
Now you may ask, why in Macomb, then a town of twelve thousand, was there no orthodontist? Actually there was. But when my parents started investigating the possibility of sending my brother to the orthodontist, they realized that the one located in Macomb refused to accept blacks as customers. And my parents went to all the expense and considerable inconvenience to go instead to St. Louis. Now THAT is called integrity and sincerity!!